Given the fact that they’re the five-time reigning national champions, it should come as no surprise that the SEC reigned supreme above all other conferences when it came to the number of players selected in the first round of the 2011 NFL draft.
What may come as a surprise was the conference right behind ’em.
In the first round of a draft that saw No. 1 overall — Auburn’s Cam Newton to Carolina — bookending No. 32 overall — Mississippi State’s Derek Sherrod to Green Bay — the SEC “won”. And what they “won” was damn-near a third of the first day of the draft.
All told, the SEC saw 10 of their players taken amongst the first 32 selections, including five of the first six picks of the draft. The lone non-SEC player in the top six was Texas A&M’s Von Miller, who went No. 2 to the Denver Broncos and was the first of eight first-round selections for the Big 12.
The Big Ten was third in the “conference race” with six players selected, followed by the Pac-12 and ACC with three apiece.
Interestingly, the first player from a non-BcS conference wasn’t selected until the New York Jets took Temple’s Muhammad Wilkerson at No. 30. Even more interesting was the fact that the Big East had just one player selected in the first round as well — Pittsburgh’s Jonathan Baldwin, taken by the Kansas City Chiefs at No. 26.
In summation, the Big East had as many players taken in the first round as the MAC. The MAC doesn’t have an automatic BcS bid; the Big East does.
Yeah, that about sums up the NFL draft from the college football/BcS side of things.